As much fun as social media can be, you may also be familiar with the unpleasant side effects of constantly comparing yourself to others. Maybe a bunch of your dance friends posted photos from a performance you couldn't make it to, or your classmate got into the summer intensive you wanted and then boasted about it on Facebook.

But a German study found that, while it's true that social media can cause negative feelings like loneliness or envy, it may also boost positive emotions when used in the right way. Of the Facebook users surveyed, those who used the social network passively—scrolling through other people's profiles or browsing their photos—tended to have more negative emotions than those who were active users—interacting with others through their own posts, comments and photos.

Another study at Cornell University found that Facebook may increase self-esteem by allowing users to be selective about how they present themselves on their profiles. You can choose what information you want to share and how you'd like to share it, and showing who you are in a positive way helps boost confidence. 

Next time you log in to your Facebook or Instagram account, try posting a photo you're excited about, like backstage with your fellow dancers at a recent show, or reaching out to that friend from your old studio whom you haven't caught up with in a while. If you're an active participant, you won't feel left out.

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The Washington Ballet's NEXTsteps program opens this week. Here are company dancers Ashley Murphy-Wilson and Alexandros Papajohn. Procopio Photography, Courtesy The Washington Ballet.

Wonder what's going on in ballet this week? We've rounded up some highlights.

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Courtesy Apolla

Ballet dancers today are asked to do more with their bodies than ever before. The physical demands of a ballet career can take an immense toll on a dancer's joints and muscles—subjecting them to pain, inflammation and an increased risk of injury. Considering all that is required of today's dancers, having a top-notch recovery regime is paramount.

Enter Apolla Performance Wear, which is meeting ballet's physical demands with a line of compression footwear that is speeding up the recovery process for professional dancers by reducing inflammation and stabilizing the joints.

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Ballet West in rehearsal for Le Chant du Rossignol. Beau Pearson, Courtesy Ballet West.

Ballet West opens its season October 25–November 2 with a triptych of works from George Balanchine's early choreographic career with Sergei Diaghilev's Ballets Russes. Highlighting the program is Balanchine's 1925 The Song of the Nightingale (Le Chant du Rossignol), never before seen in the U.S. This ballet is not only the first piece that a then-21-year-old Balanchine made for the Ballets Russes; it also marks his first collaboration with Igor Stravinsky, and features costumes by Henri Matisse. To bring it to Salt Lake City, Ballet West is working closely with Millicent Hodson and Kenneth Archer, who reconstructed the work for Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo in 1999.

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Stella Abrera in Le Corsaire. Rosalie O'Connor, Courtesy ABT.

American Ballet Theatre announced today that, after 24 years, beloved principal dancer Stella Abrera will retire from the stage this coming summer. Her farewell performance will be June 13, 2020, at the Metropolitan Opera House, dancing the title role in Giselle.

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